I’ll go into sharing what I’ve set up so far for a shack in a bit..
Other than some antenna/transmitter tests with a local friend who’s also into amateur radio, I’ve yet to contact people using my rig.
When joining any new community, I feel it’s important to observe and understand what’s going on before barging in and bothering the people that were here before me. I’ve seen far too many examples online and off of people who come in and don’t understand why they’re angering the locals, I want to try and not be the cause of that myself.
Some new hams admit to being shy the first times, and while I can’t discount that entirely for me, it’s really about learning and getting used to the speech patterns unique to this medium. I’ve no problem having many people hear my voice, but I want to be sure I can “talk the talk” when I get on.
There’s lots to learn even at this early stage, being a listener gives me a chance to learn how to use the gear, the antennas, the tuner, all the twiddly-bits. I’m seeing how different bands propagate, and the types of activity on the different frequencies.
It’s also a great chance to see how people behave on the different bands. I was surprised to find that different types of people hang out on different frequencies. Some of them sound very formal, whereas some others almost sound like CB radio, and others still sound like shouldn’t be there at all 🙂 It’ll be interesting to see where I choose to spend my time.
So for now, it’s listening – soon, “joining the conversation” 🙂